Thursday, September 26, 2019

RON





From my favorite Ramen and Sake Speakeasy in Omaha to my favorite Yoga Studio in Austin, eventually, the towns we "Remain Over Night" (R.O.N} become my homes away from home. So, whether your driving through a town or you're on a long layover between flights or you're a lucky flight attendant, like me. A Ron is my quick guides to some of my favorite cities! First up Edmunds, Washington
Layover 17.23
We landed at 11:30 a.m. at the Paine Field Airport. It's brand new, privately owned and the coziest terminal I have ever seen. With two gas fireplaces hugging the center of the terminal and rocking chairs situated in front of the window it's not a bad spot to sip a cocktail while you're waiting for your flight. We headed towards baggage claim and there was so much attention to detail I have to say I was impressed! Once we got to our hotel, I quickly unpacked my bags, changed out of my uniform and ordered my Uber to the cute town of Edmunds Washington.
Brunch: Salt ad Iron: order a few Peach Mimosas at the bar and choose any dish off their menu. Seriously everything came highly recommended and you will not be disappointed. 


Oysters Benedict
If you're there on a Saturday after brunch head over to Artisa for free wine tasting. Or go to Resident Cheesemonger to pick up your favorite cheese and then head over to Artisa to find the perfect pairing. If you're not into wine or cheese, there are plenty of shops to explore and windows to shop. But before you get too swept up in this cute town make sure to check the ferry schedule to Kingston and choose a time. Whatever time you decide, make sure to be at the ferry terminal at least 20 minutes before departure. The ferry takes 30 minutes and will cost you just $8.75 for the round trip. You can buy some wine and enjoy the view or take a crack at one of the puzzles inside. If you're lucky to be in Kingston on a night they are playing live music in the park, I would suggest grabbing a crepe from J'aime Les Crepes Creperie and settling in for an hour or two. Feeling adventurous? Head to Mossback. "The little green house behind the bushes" opens at 4pm and while their craft cocktails are plenty their food items are few due to their seasonal and local approach. I suggest going for drinks and appetizers. And if nothing else try a buzz button. It's an edible flower bud that makes your mouth tingle and tastebuds explode in a good way.




For dinner, I would recommend the Kingston alehouse. From crab-stuffed mushrooms to burgers they have something for everyone. And if you haven't already I highly suggest spending the money on a crepe and walking around town before heading back on the ferry. Once you get back to Edmunds go grab a nightcap at Daphne's. The bartenders and locals are a hoot to hang out with.
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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

How do you find the time?


Me trying to get behind the bike short trend? Or didn't have time to change after a workout? #illnevertell xoxo ~
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People always ask me: How do you find the time?
At 24 years old with four kids under the age of five. I worked full time at a job that required a lot of after school and weekend hours. I was either training for something or had some project going on. And people would ask How do you do it all? Now I have three kids in high school one in junior high and at three different schools. I'm a flight attendant. And people ask, How?
And while I do believe you make time for the things important to you... In my case it's also, you do what you have to do.
I had three kids in diapers for a short period of time and my motto was change one diaper, might as well change them all. Now it's not that easy! Haha But here are the things I do, to help me get things done.
1.Write it down
I write everything down. My grocery lists, my training schedule, days I need off from work, appts, etc. I find that it's easier for me to remember something after I have physically written it down, so I'm talking pen to paper. Plus there's something about crossing something off my list, to be able to look back on the day and see all that I did, motivates me more.
2. Prioritize the day. 
Once I've written down everything I need to do. I prioritize it. Believe it or not on my daily to-do list I write down "drop kids off." And that is always my first priority. They dress and feed themselves these days so it's not like they need me but I like to be available just in case. Nothing else needs to get done before then. Once I drop the last babe off. I'm going to do the hardest thing first and just get it out of the way.
3.Space it out
I never make myself feel like I have to do everything on the list in one day. As a flight attendant,  I don't come home after work, I can't just drop off my dry cleaning or go to the store. But I learned that if I try to do everything as soon as I get home, I get overwhelmed. So my dry cleaning might not get taken in before I have to leave on my next trip and that's okay. If it was important I would have prioritized it better on my list.
4.Take time
My days at home are from 8:30 (my last drop off) to 1:30 (my first pickup) I could run around doing all the things but that doesn't leave anytime in the day for me. Just like going to the grocery store is important so we have food to eat, so is going to yoga, going to the farmers market with a friend or going to Starbucks to write cuz that is food for my soul.
5.Ask for help. 
And yes I'm saying ask your spouse your family members get a housekeeper if you can afford it (I like to treat myself to one every quarter). But more importantly I'm saying, ask your children for help. I don't know why it took me so long to realize there are four of them and one of me but we all live in the same home and we need to work together to keep it clean. It's not just the mom or dad's job, it's the families job.My kids have one designated chore they to do every day, on top of that, they have to give me thirty minutes. Pick up their room, start a load of laundry, wipe down the countertops from breakfast, take their bathroom trash out, etc. I wish I would have done this when they were little because it has made such a difference. And in all honesty, if they would just do the damn thing it would probably only take them like ten minutes. But ya know between Tic Tocs and face-timing friends it takes longer.  
6.Let it all go
At the end of the day let go of your expectations. Sometimes things won't go how you planned. Something comes up; like a kid gets sick and you have to pick them up from school and nothing gets done. And sometimes you just wanna sit and eat hot Cheetos while watching Netflix. That's ok. You can do the things tomorrow, I promise they'll still be there. 
7.Be present
Being present when the kids get home is my ultimate goal. And probably the hardest thing to do. It also looks different every day.  Sometimes it means we put our phones in the middle of the dinner table while we eat and have conversations about conspiracy theories. While other times it means I sit in the living room watching tv with one of the kids while one is at soccer and the other two are doing homework at the dining room table. Being present, for me, is about being seen and  available for them. 
And lastly, along with my daily to do list, I also have my timeline to do lists, goals etc. Once you figure out what's important to you and what you want to achieve the rest is easy. How do you manage your time and get it all done? I'd love to hear your tips!
  



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Friday, May 31, 2019

Airport Codes: HNL (planned by my teens)

I remember the first time I took the kids to Hawaii. It was the first trip we took since I had become a flight attendant. Christian had just turned 11 Micaela was 9 Alina was 8 and Rylee was 6.  I saw the glares, heard the sighs of relief from passengers as we passed their rows. I get it, a Mom traveling with her four little kids, on a six-hour flight, alone! It isn't exactly how anyone wants to start a vacation. It's been 7 years since that first flight and yet I'll never forget what someone said to me before we deplaned, "Your children are so well behaved. I was worried when I saw you board but I think they did better than me!" My kids are great travelers, they're actually just really great kids so I can't really claim to be the traveling child whisperer but I will be writing a blog post on how to travel with kids and teens soon so stay tuned for that.
So there we were with another smooth flight behind us finally in Oahu!
We were lucky enough to be traveling with a friend who's family lives in Hawaii. They not only offered to pick us up, they offered to let us use their car while we were in town.
You don't necessarily need a car in Oahu if you plan on hanging out in one spot and doing a day trip or two but it's definitely helpful if you want to see the whole island. Alternatively, you can always hop on a bus, it obviously takes up a little more of your time but it's super cheap.
Having been to Oahu before I chose Waikiki as our base. It's pretty central and in my opinion the perfect spot for teens and tweens. I even felt comfortable letting the kids walk around without me.
Since we got to our hotel before check-in our rooms weren't ready but they offered to hold our bags while we went to find a place to eat! The kids chose M.A.C 24 (Modern American Cuisine) and funny enough I had been there before. It's located inside the Hilton Waikiki and only a block from the beach. Voted the best breakfast, best late-night find best restaurants for brunch and best gourmet comfort food just this past year. Oh and they're open 24 hours a day which when traveling with teens is always a plus...since they're always hungry!  After lunch we got into our rooms, quickly changed and walked to the beach where we spent the rest of the afternoon!

Dinner was at Cheeseburger in Paradise and the cheeseburgers were definitely paradise!
It was the perfect low key first day to get into vacation mode
Day 2
We were up and at em' early (thank you time change) and believe it or not the kids chose M.A.C 24 again for breakfast! Seriously their pancakes are to die for. We tried their blueberry, strawberries and cream and mochi pancakes. Along with the Loco Moco and Benedict breakfast. Feeling really hungry? Try doing their M.A.C daddy pancake challenge. Three 14" buttermilk pancakes weighing in at 5lbs with your choice of signature topping... Finish by yourself in under 90 minutes and it's free! Good luck this is just the regular blueberry stack. 


After breakfast, we packed up the car and headed to the North Shore.
First stop was the Dole Plantation where the kids planned the Pineapple Express train tour. A twenty-minute tour of the plantation followed by the Giant Pineapple Maze scavenger hunt.


 


Normally I would skip doing things like that because I get lost going home but we split up into two teams making it really fun. 

If you go to the Dole Plantation without trying their Dole whip, did you even go?


Haleiwa for lunch and shopping:
Haleiwa is a cute North Shore community with shops, food trucks and of course an Instagram worthy photo op!  Make sure to try the Garlic Shrimp from one of the food trucks and some shaved ice from literally any of the shaved ice establishments.




Photo Cred:Christian



The rest of the afternoon was spent at Waimea Bay where the rocks are high and the waves are strong. Making it a perfect beach for some cliff jumping. The kids first heard about this spot when I came to Oahu in 2010. The story goes a little something like this. A long time ago in a faraway land, their mom was afraid of heights haha... Still, am actually.  And for whatever reason, I wanted to jump off the cliffs that day. So I climbed the 32 feet up to the top of the cliff and prepared to jump. I saw person after person successfully jump. But I just couldn't do it. Every time I got to the edge my heart would race and I would step away. Guys, I was up there for over an hour before I decided I better just climb down. As I walked down one of the locals stopped me, and told me it was bad luck to climb down and that I had to jump off. So there I was literally stuck between a rock and a hard place, "You should just take the Oni ride, have you heard of it?" Someone asked. "No, but if it gets me off this cliff I'll take it!" I said. Before I knew what was happening, I was in the air, having been picked up by one of the locals... And right before he jumped off the cliff. He said, "My name is Oni by the way!" It. Was. Terrifying. But I survived!
Sadly Oni was not there the day I brought the kids but regardless it was a fun day.



It was a fancy double arch dinner and an early bedtime for everyone!

Day 3
Two words for you:
Portuguese Doughnuts otherwise known on the island as Malasadas. They are really large donut holes rolled in sugar and often filled with custard. The most popular is Leonard's. Parking is tricky and the line can be long. But, don't worry the line moves as fast as it took my kids to eat an entire box of Malasadas. Get two!


For day three the kids went back and forth between hiking up to Diamond Head or just relaxing on the beach. So while they worked out the plan I took a quick detour to Starbucks. And I think strolling downtown next to the sea breeze would convince just about anyone to take that beach day.




Around 3 pm we went back to the hotel, grabbed snacks from one of ABC stores and up to our rooms to get ready to visit the Polynesian cultural center. If you aren't familiar with the ABC stores you will be by the time you leave any of the Hawaiian islands. Part gift shop, part grocery/convenience store. It's your one stop shop!
The Polynesian cultural center is an hour away from Waikiki. Quite the trek just for a luau if you ask me so we booked the Ali package and it was totally worth it. From the Polynesian Village tour via canoe to the Hawaiian Journey Movie experience and the Ha breath of life show. We loved it!
The luau is buffet style and having been to more intimate beach side luaus before, the kids said they preferred the latter but that the food was still good at the PCC and I would have to agree with them.






Day 4
Never underestimate your kids! That is what I learned on this trip! Not only did they plan a fun and relaxing vacation so far, they even planned a cultural day. 

Photo Cred:Christian

We got to the Pearl Harbor Visiting Center early to collect our free Arizona Memorial tickets and purchased the Passport to Pearl Harbor tour which included a documentary film with actual attack footage as well as a ride on a US Navy Shuttle boat to the Memorial (conditions permitting).





Think your kids wouldn't be into a history lesson on vacation? Think again. All the kids said this was one of their favorite things we did!

After Pearl Harbor, we drove to a tee shirt shop I came to on my first visit here called 88 tees. Their flagship store is hidden, messy and dark. But, something about the quirky tees with the Yaya character just captures Hawaii for me.


After I treated everyone to a tee or two we went back to the hotel for a free afternoon for napping, swimming and a late lunch at Shorefrye. It's right next to the Waikiki resort so it was convenient had a little bit of everything and hit the spot! Dinner was at Buca so Beppo followed by a stroll along the beach. 

Photo Cred: Alina

Last Day
We spent the morning downtown shopping for souvenirs saying goodbye to the beach and enjoying some seriously good milkshakes from Volcano Shakes which I just learned is now permanently closed.



Photo Cred: Micaela

 Until Next time, Aloha

Fireworks Every Friday Night

x
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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Flight Attendant Dating 101

Can I ask you a non-hair related question?" She asked.
For those of you who don't know, while I blog about life as a flight attendant Mom here. On my Instagram, I blog about my curly hair. (Go check it out)
Anyway, I was doing a "Live" Q&A the other day when someone asked that.
"Sure, I said."
"So, what's your dating situation... you're so funny and cute, I've been dying to ask you."
I took a sip of my wine, pretty sure my face turned the color of red I was drinking. I skirted around the question, completely caught off guard. I knew she meant well, but I was embarrassed.
"I dated someone a little bit ago, but I'm busy... when I"m home I'm Mom, and when I'm at work, well I'm gone." I laughed and joked that if they knew anyone or had a single brother, they could send them my way. Even though life is busy, I would love to meet someone. You make time for the people who are important to you right?
It got me thinking about my dating life since I've been a flight attendant.
I had a jealous boyfriend who wasn't comfortable with me traveling, I dated the pilot, for years. I've gone out on dates in my hometown. And of course, there have been offers to be taken out to dinner and a handful of numbers from passengers on the plane. It makes sense that the second most popular way people meet their significant other is through work. So when I met the last guy, I really didn't even second guess it.
I met him on a flight from San Francisco to Oklahoma City. He was so handsome, I was completely smitten. And I wanted to take a chance. So, I gave him my number. We hit it off, things were easy between us. We talked all the time and made plans right away. Despite living in different states, we made the effort and saw each other quite a bit over the next few months. I thought I had gotten to know him pretty well and truth be told I was really excited about him. Anyway, I remember the last date we went on... I landed in his home town late Sunday night, we had planned a lunch date the next day. I got up, got ready and he picked me up. We sat across from each other at lunch, we talked and we laughed as usual,  but something he said...made me realize what had probably been right in front of me the whole time. He thought he was my, "Oklahoma City."
Just the guy I called when I was in his town. And my heart sank. I walked away feeling so disappointed, in myself. That it took me so long see it.
See, there is a common misconception, that all flight attendants and pilots have "Hoes in different area codes" to be blunt. And while that may be true for some, I assure you, that it's not true for all of us. I don't have guys all over the US, waiting for a phone call that I've landed. Honestly, the last thing I want to do after a 12 hour duty day, is to try and look cute for anyone... Don't get me wrong, if I met someone and I thought there was a connection like I did with ole OKC, I would give it a shot. Being a flight attendant does have its traveling perks and long distance relationships really aren't a big deal especially when I can be in a certain city every week.
But, if you think you're going to date a flight attendant, be her (insert city code here) and get free passes to travel... It's called standby buddy, Google it. And I personally don't just give those out to anyone.
Oh, and if you ever get to meet my kids you can consider yourself the luckiest man in the world!
Just a friendly PSA from that single flight attendant mom xoxo
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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Life lesson For A Curly Girl

There are so many things in my life I can't control right now... as hard as I try ha! So many unknowns and what ifs that I won't even allow myself to think about them for long or I'd probably go mad! And I'm not trying to "vague-book" over here. But if I went down the list with you, we would be here awhile. I worry about the future a lot though, I always have. Since I can remember I have made "to-do" lists not just of my daily tasks but of my future plans and from those lists I make more lists! Sometimes I'm so busy making those lists that I don't actually do anything on them.  And on one hand, doing that soothes my anxiety and need to control things in real life. Yet on the other, it gives me anxiety when I see I haven't done anything about them! It's quite a vicious cycle if you ask me. 
And, I think God gave me curly hair as a constant reminder that I just need to trust Him and everything will turn out the way He meant it to be. It may sound absolutely absurd to you. But it just makes sense to me!
You cannot control curly hair. You can't. I have tried!! 
If you follow me on Instagram you know I was having a minor meltdown about my hair in my stories this morning, like a crazy person!!! 
I was on the verge of tears over it when I started getting all these messages from women who felt my pain and told me I wasn't alone. And I started to cry. And not over my hair but because I  felt really thankful for all the people I've met on this curly journey, not just because they were assuring me I wasn't really crazy but because I feel understood. And then for a minute, I felt at peace. I let go of this need to control my hair and decided to stop worrying about it! 
What I've learned in the last couple of months is that no you cannot control your hair. But you can heal it, you can nurture it daily and eventually you build a relationship with it and as you continue to nourish it one day you'll be at peace with it, that's the goal anyway. 
It reminded me of my "Pumpkin Spice isn't so nice" post where I said, Stop expecting and start accepting!! 
I feel like in a lot of ways that need to control all the things in my life will always be there, but if I can just stop and breathe for a minute, accept the fact I can't control all the things and remember that God made no mistakes when he made me and gave me curly hair. Then I can feel that peace I felt today and trust that he won't let me down with my future. I know he has a plan and I just need to be patient! And continue to nurture my mind, body, soul and yes hair. Acknowledge the things I can't control. Allow them to exist, let them have a place in my life even until I can let go and feel at peace.

Hope you all have a fabulous day and a Happy Halloween.Thought I'd share some costumes from over the years.
Mary Poppins
MJ and Billy Jean

Holly Golightly 1
Cruella
Holly Golightly 2
La Calavera Catrina

Roller Derby Chick and Thing 2


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Sunday, September 16, 2018

A Sunday Kind of Love

One year ago today I woke up from the red-eye flight in Guatemala City. The place I was born. But a place I never called home. I was nervous, excited and a little bit scared. I had only ever heard the stories of why and how we left. And the only memory my three-year-old self-had, involved ice cream on toast and that just can't be trusted. 
But the story goes like this... We packed up our toys in the back of our Grandparent's van and had to be at the Mexicali border by midnight. It had been arranged that our passports would be signed but without a proper photo...


See, the reason we were leaving was that my Mom wanted to get us away from our Dad. This is where I hesitate to say more because it is still a sore subject for our family but I feel so overwhelmed to tell it how I remember. 
So here goes... 
My Dad was a handsome guy, charismatic and flirtatious from what I'm told. But he had a lot of demons and with his family being in a position of money and power, drugs and alcohol were not of short supply.  My mom begged him to stop. She pleaded for him to get clean but he wouldn't or couldn't. She felt like the only thing she could do to give us a better life was to get us as far away as possible. She knew neither him nor his family would let that happen so she decided to take us without them knowing. My mom was going to kidnap us. 
We got to the Mexicali border at midnight, waited for the guards to change and as arranged we made it into the United States. 
We lived with our Grandparents and my Mom applied for political asylum but she was denied. She cleaned houses until she was able to buy a social security number (bet you didn't know people do that) and then worked odd jobs. One night while she was watching a Lifetime movie she saw a commercial for a lottery of visas. She jotted down the address and directions quickly and took a chance. I was 14 years old when she won that lottery.
I know now the sacrifices my mom had to make for us to have a better life. I watched her struggle to make ends meet and yet, I also watched her work hard to earn a double masters degree. But growing up I was sad that I didn't have a Dad. I was embarrassed that we had to live with our grandparents. And I was angry at the person who I thought was responsible for those things. My mom. 
When I was 16 years old I found out my Dad had passed away. I can't even tell you the loss I felt. I didn't know him, but now I would never get to, and again I blamed my Mom. 
The same day I found out my Dad committed suicide I found out I had a younger sister too.
I was in a state of a shock and I don't remember what we even said to each other. That was the last time we spoke. My junior year of high school I was depressed and angry. I was angry at so many people I couldn't even stand it. I was angry that my Mom had kept me from him, I was angry that I had a sister that got to know our Dad and I was angry with for being selfish and taking his life.
Years passed, life happened and I buried all that sadness and anger as far down as I could.  
Fast forward to last year. I was watching El Chapo on Netflix, the part where they mention he escapes prison and goes to Guatemala. And I thought, "I wonder if my Dad's family was involved or helped with the escape" remember how I said his family was in a position with money and power. Well, turns out my Great Grandfather was the interim president of Guatemala back in the day. So I took to Google.  
First, I searched my Grandpa and found him on Wikipedia but no mention of El Chapo was made (dang it!) Then I Googled my Dad's name. What came up was a picture of the mausoleum where he's buried. It made me sad. And then I decided to Google my sister's name, her Instagram was the first thing to pop up. 
(Side note: As I was writing this post I decided to Google those last two things again and oddly  enough neither one come up now!!!)
I pulled up her Instagram and started scrolling through her feed... I took screenshots of her pictures and sent them to my friends. Does this look like me? Do you think we could be sisters???
I scrolled and scrolled until I saw a picture of my Dad's mom. I don't know how I knew it was her because my Mom didn't have any pictures.  But I recognized her. And without hesitation, I emailed this girl.
And one year ago today I got to meet my sister, was reunited with my Grandmother and all of my Dad's family at a beautiful welcome home party she threw me. I found a little piece of my soul I didn't even know I was missing that day. 
Now, I don't know why things happened the way they did and we won't ever be able to get back the time that was lost. But, God is never early. And he's never late. He's always right on time and his plans are good for you. A friend sent that to me a few days ago on Facebook. And while it may be hard to wait on His time. I know its worth it!
Happy Sunday
                    











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